No, you're not imagining this update. To tell truth, my whole comp died. All documents DIED. So I'm recreating what I THINK was the plot I intended...heh...I can't really remember, but I think I've got this one down. As for my other fics. Ahem. I'm working on it.
Wyatt paced around the attic, trying to clear his head. The potions were all set in the fridge, added to the others they had in stock as inconspicuously as they could manage. He doubted anyone would look in there anyway, since they were having pizza ordered in for dinner. But Chris…he needed Chris. Not just his quick wit, but Wyatt didn't want to admit that he really needed Chris because—for the first time in his life—he was afraid.
Afraid that Piper may not be there. Afraid that Chris was right about Abby. Afraid of a lot of things.
"Wyatt! Chris! Dinner's ready," Phoebe called from the kitchen. "Hurry up!"
Wyatt sighed and descended into the kitchen, sitting down in front of a plate with pizza on it.
"Where's—" Phoebe looked around the room, finally locking her eyes on Piper. Piper looked away. "Where's Chris?"
"He left," said Piper simply, serving her a piece of pizza.
"Piper, you can't keep doing this! I figured I could let it go the first few times, but now it's really dangerous out there. I'm realizing how stupid I've been. How can I trust you with Paisley if I know you treat your own child that way?" Phoebe's eyes shimmered with tears. "How can I trust you?" she demanded when she didn't receive an immediate reply.
"Fine. Let's all gang up against Piper," Piper snarled angrily. "Let's all question the way she raises her children and beat her down."
"You're not raising him, Piper. You're killing him."
Piper turned red in the face. "Sometimes I wonder if you're even my sister," she said in a low, menacing voice.
Phoebe choked back a sob. "Sometimes, Piper, I wonder the same thing." She pushed her chair away from the table, leaving her pizza untouched, and grabbed Paisley's hand. "C'mon, Cole, we're leaving. While it's still early enough."
Cole frowned. "Where are we supposed to go?"
"We'll stay with Paige. She's got a double bed that pulls out from the couch in her apartment."
"We're going to France?" Paisley asked, her eyes wide with excitement.
"Yes, honey, we're going to France," said Phoebe, trying desperately not to cry. She stared at Piper long and hard. "If I could, I'd take Wyatt and Chris with me. But…" She gave Wyatt a piteous glance. "I can't."
"Leave, then," Piper spat. "I don't care."
Phoebe nodded. "I know."
The door slammed a minute later, leaving Wyatt and Piper alone. Piper dug into her slice of pizza and heeded little notice when Wyatt got up from the table and walked away, shutting the door to his room.
It was then that it hit him. If he wanted Chris, he could just go to Chris. It was as simple as one, two, three. Actually, as simple as one. Orb. That was it.
Piper's footsteps were audible on the stairs. As soon as she was in her bed asleep, he'd sense and orb out to Chris. He checked the beside clock. It was seven-thirty now; he'd have a little while to go. He sighed and started his homework in defeat.
Wyatt slumped at the first sight of his math homework. He hated math. Well, he hated school in general, but he really hated math. Sometimes it made perfect sense, but most of the time it just had him running around in circles.
Before he knew it, he was nodding off.
"Piper, I can't handle this anymore."
Wyatt stood outside their doorway, straining to hear the words coming from his father's mouth. He was vaguely aware that Abby was missing. Weren't the adults all out looking for her? Why were his parents still here?
"You can't do this, Leo. Especially not now. We need you to help—"
"Piper. I can't sense her anywhere. The Elders need me…the Hunters are raiding and some of the students have unleashed some sort of parallel world. It's chaos Up There."
"She's your daughter!" Piper wailed. "You can't just leave her. We have to find her. She's out there with the Hunters."
"She's not out there anymore, Piper, she's dead."
Piper gasped and Wyatt heard the sound of her hand hitting Leo's face. It seemed to reverberate off the walls, mocking him, a little kid standing outside of his parents' room like a pathetic worm. Abby couldn't be dead. His father was wrong. He had to be wrong.
"How dare you?" Piper whispered. "I can't believe this. You know what? Go ahead and be a damn elder. Go ahead! You're never here anyway, it won't make a difference!"
"Piper—" Leo tried to reason, exasperated.
"No! I'm sick of it, Leo! You know what Abby called the construction worker yesterday? She called him Daddy. Because she hardly even knows who you are! The last time you came around was Chris' third birthday!"
Wyatt swallowed, feeling guilty. His father visited him all the time. Wyatt just wasn't quite sure he liked it, since Leo never wanted anything to do with his younger siblings.
"We shouldn't have had so many kids, Piper. There's no way we can handle it in this magical mess of a world, anyway."
"WE? What do you mean, WE can't handle it? YOU can't handle it. You could never handle it. I thought you were perfect, Leo. The way you held Wyatt, changed his diapers, put him to sleep and played with him. But I was wrong. Go be an Elder and STAY up there. It's the only thing you're good for in the world."
"I'm waiting for you to leave. Go. Before I blow you up."
Wyatt saw the orbs and knew where his father was going. A part of him wanted to cry, but mostly he felt empty. Abby was dead. His father was leaving. The front door slammed and Piper was gone too, out to find Abby.
Questions assaulted his mind. Witch hunters? Who were they? What did they want with Abby? What kind of parallel world?
He emptied his mind, expression blank. His room was pitch black when he arrived. His hand flew to the light switch, but Chris stopped him.
"Don't. Keep it dark," Chris said, voice cracking. "I don't want to see."
Wyatt nodded. "Neither do I." He didn't say a word about what he'd heard, deciding then that he never would.
"Wyatt…I…" Chris choked, suddenly crying out. "Abby!" he screamed, his five-year-old voice piercing the air. "Abby's in trouble! Aunt Paige! Aunt Paige!"
"Chris, calm down, they're gonna—"
Chris cried out again, curling into a ball. "It hurts, Wyatt, they're hurting her. AUNT PAIGE!" he yelled out again at the top of his lungs. "AUNT PAIGE! AUNT—"
He fell silent. Their world crumbled.
Wyatt woke with a start, his eyes wide. That night. The night Abby died. He'd never remembered it until just now, and it was all so clear in his head. A terrible nightmare relived…or a gift? Now he knew exactly when and why Leo had left. All the years he'd blocked it out of his head, he understood.
Short, but there's more. Just not tonight. :D